Trump Arrest Rumors Loom Over 2024 Election


Benjamin Nguyen

On March 17th leaks from the Manhattan DA’s office of Alvin Bragg surfaced speculating that the DA’s office planned for the indictment and arrest of former President Donald Trump.  These rumors were heightened and used by right-wing influencers and media causing outrage among conservatives and right-leaning independents who view this as the weaponization of the justice system.

The reasons for the arrest lie in “hush money” the former President allegedly paid to adult actress Stormy Daniels in 2016.  When previously investigated, former Trump aide Michael Cohen who was arrested in 2019, released a statement clearing Trump saying the money was paid out of Cohen’s own pocket.  While that in itself is not being investigated, Trump reimbursed Cohen and allegedly falsified business records which is illegal in New York.  Since then, the Manhattan DA’s office has continued to convene a Grand Jury investigation into the allegations.

President Trump took to social media to condemn the “corrupt” and “highly political” District Attorney’s Office.  He also speculated that his arrest would’ve taken place on Tuesday the 21st. In addition, in later posts, the former president encouraged civil unrest and protests towards the DA’s office and the seeming political foundation the arrest had.

Following the arrest frenzy, the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Ohio Representative Jim Jordan [R] inquired into the reasons for the arrest.  Congressman Jordan said in a tweet, “Americans want a secure border.  Not a Donald Trump prosecution.”, as well as others called the Manhattan DA’s actions abusive and politically charged.

On March 23rd, Bragg said in a letter that his office would “publicly state the conclusion of our investigation—whether we conduct our work without bringing charges, or move forward with an indictment.”

Bragg’s Office also responded to the House Judiciary Committee and their letter to his Office saying “Your letter dated March 20, 2023, in contrast, is an unprecedented inquiry into a pending local prosecution. The letter only came after Donald Trump created a false expectation that he would be arrested the next day and his lawyers reportedly urged you to intervene. Neither fact is a legitimate basis for congressional inquiry.”

 Some Republicans have accused the Biden Administration of having pressured Bragg’s office to carry out what they are calling  politically motivated fake charges.  Others have exploited the appearance of hypocrisy; wherein the left has often called the right fascist, republicans have fired back citing they don’t arrest political opponents.  The left has fired back reminiscing Trump’s many campaign slogans of 2016 calling for the arrest of Hillary Clinton (Lock Her Up), as well as that famous moment in the Presidential Debates where Trump said if he were president, Clinton would be in jail.

The arrest rumors have calmed down after Trump’s approval rating soared among republicans as well as the reactions of leftist politicians and celebrities. 

Notably, actor Chris Rock said “Do you know that this is only going to make him more popular? It is like arresting Tupac. He’s just going to sell more records. Are you stupid?”

Amid this high-tension period, the Manhattan DA’s office reported a suspicious white powder mailed to Bragg.  Democrats quickly condemned the escalation of violence while Republicans mocked it, accusing the envelope to have been mailed by the DA’s office to itself, simply done to garner sympathy.

While the rumors remain, Trump has told reporters recently, in light of no arrest made, “I think they’ve already dropped the case,” he boasted, “It’s a fake case. Some fake cases, they have absolutely nothing.” 

If Mr. Trump is wrong, it would mark the first-ever criminal indictment of a former President.